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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Las Vegas Edition

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Kentucky is about to embark on a Las Vegas 2-game trip that will tell us a lot about where the Wildcats are at this point.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

The wife and I are heading out to Sin City today to watch the two Kentucky games being played out there this week. It has been many years since we went to see UK play in Las Vegas — 2008-09 to be exact, Billy Gillispie’s final season as UK coach. It was fun and memorable, and the team even won both games, defeating Kansas State 74-72 and West Virginia 54-43 on consecutive nights.

Ah, memories. DeAndre Liggins, who attended Findlay Prep in Las Vegas refused to enter the game against Kansas State after not getting enough minutes to suit him, then played 27 outstanding minutes against WVU to help Kentucky to the comeback win.

What a difference 11 seasons makes. Kentucky won’t be playing in back-to-back games this time, having two days between Utah and Ohio State, but once again it is a team with something to prove after an up and down early season. Utah is not exactly figured to be Final Four timber this season, but they’re off to an 8-2 start, and have notable wins against Minnesota (who took down #1 Ohio State the other night), BYU in overtime, and Nevada on the road. Notable losses are a head-scratching blowout at Coastal Carolina and a close, neutral-site loss to Tulane.

The upshot is that Utah should be a good test for Kentucky Wednesday outside of the friendly confines of Rupp Arena. However, Ohio State on Saturday represents a whole different level of challenge that will give us a good early-season read on what kind of progress the Wildcats have made since curious case of Evansville.

If you’re heading out west, hope to see you there. If not, I know you’ll be up late watching the Wildcats at home, or at your favorite watering hole.

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Odd, indeed.

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